Adapted from http://bitofthegoodstuff.com/
This is my second foray into the world of raw chocolate, and so far I really love it. They are such a joy to make, stunning to look at and taste completely incredible. For me it feels just like it felt when I first started making macaroons – I’m not just cooking, I’m creating something really special that you can’t just buy in the supermarket. I know this might sound a bit over the top, or even a bit arrogant, but to be honest, it is so rare for me to feel a real sense of achievement or pride, that I just don’t really know what to do with it.
When I first posted about raw chocolate, I wrote about its magical, intense bitterness. I didn’t realise until I tweeted the recipe how much raw chocolate actually divides people. Seriously – I have never received nasty tweets before, and I certainly wasn’t expecting them from anyone as ‘fluffy’ as a chocolate blogger. I suppose it is a bit like marmite – either you love it or you hate it. If you are a fan of the super-sweet, milky, galaxy-like chocolates, this probably isn’t for you. But if you like your chocolate intense, dark and a bit bitter, it definitely is.
60g raw cacao butter, grated or finely chopped if the lumps are really massive, and divide it in half
50g raw cacao powder, divided in half
Approximately 3tbsp agave syrup (use more if you want them to be sweeter)
60g creamed coconut (the kind that comes in blocks in little cardboard packages)
12-14 mini cupcake cases – obviously the total yield from this will depend on what size case you use – I used little silicone ones from M&S (currently on sale) and it made 11 chocolates.
Diced dried apricot, 2 bits per chocolate (or ginger, pineapple, or goji berries, or something else)
Arrange the mini cupcake cases in one layer on a tray or in a freezable container. You will be very grateful for this level of practicality further down the line. I didn’t bother with this stage initially, and regretted it.
Put the first 30g of cacao butter in a heatproof bowl and melt slowly and carefully using a bain-marie or microwave.
Once it has melted, mix in 25g of cacao powder – this is really incredible the first time you do it, and you see and smell proper chocolate forming in front of your eyes. Add sweetener to taste – I used about one and a half tablespoons of agave syrup. While agave is super sweet, even in such a small quantity of chocolate this doesn’t actually make it taste sweet, it just takes the edge off the bitterness inherent in the cacao. If you have a really sweet tooth, use a tiny bit more agave but not too much – part of the magic of these is the incredible bitterness of the chocolate together with the richness of the coconut and sweetness of the dried fruit.
Fill the cases with the melted chocolate mixture using a teaspoon. You should be able to work out from this how many cases your mix will stretch to, it could be anywhere between 10 and 14.
If you remembered to keep all your little cases on a tray or in a box, you will now be able to move them to the freezer (or fridge) without wobbling them and disturbing the mixture – part of the elegance of these chocolates is the incredibly straight lines. Freeze or refrigerate the first layer of the chocolates until completely set. This will take about 10 minutes in the freezer, at least 30 in the fridge.
While the first chocolate layer is setting, wash and dry all the bowls you were using if you need to use them again.
Prepare the coconut layer by grating or finely chopping the creamed coconut. Melt it carefully using a microwave or bain-marie. When the first layer of chocolate is set, use a teaspoon to share the melted coconut cream over the top of each case. Place back in the freezer for another 10 minutes to set.
Prepare the final chocolate layer by melting the remaining 30g of cacao butter and mixing it with the remaining 25g of cacao powder and agave syrup. When the coconut layer is set, share the chocolate equally between the cases, and dot with the dried apricot pieces.
Return to the fridge or freezer, and turn the chocolates out of the cases when they are completely set. Store them in a cool place, in the fridge in the summer.